AURORA Lecture series

Inequality in education – research traditions in selected countries in Europe and beyond

Thursdays (24.03.-30.06.2022)


online event

 For external audience the course can be accessed through the password-protected links
     (see below). The passwords must be request individually via 



The interdisciplinary lecture-series „Inequality in education – research traditions in selected countries in Europe (and beyond)” focuses on inequality along socio-cultural, linguistic and religious differences. The OECD PISA-analyses have shown how big the differences in this respect are. Specific research traditions with their theoretical approaches and methodologies will be compared, the respective educational systems explained and migration-related diversity described. The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequality in Education (Stevens & Dworkin 2nd ed. 2019) is the book on which the lecture is based.

Dates and Speakers

Each link is protected by an individual password, for access please send an e-mail to: Lenz.Luther@student.uibk.ac.at



March 2022

Austria, Dr. Philipp Schnell, University of Vienna    

Philipp Schnell
Photo: Mirela Jasic

Philipp Schnell currently works as a Scientific Project Officer at the Education Policy Department of the Austrian Chamber of Labour, as well as lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna. His PhD in Sociology was awarded by the University of Amsterdam in 2012 and he has completed post-doctoral assignments at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Vienna and the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies. He further held visiting positions at the Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED) in Paris and at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Philipp has worked on various projects related to immigration, education and social mobility - funded by, amongst others, the European Commission, JPI Urban Europe, and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Most of his work is comparative in nature and has been published in journals, such as ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; Migration Studies; Population, Space and Place or the Journal of International Migration and Integration. While the core focus of his research is still the intersection between education and immigration, lately he has been working more on projects related to education policies. Amongst others, he is currently co-editing a special issue on Far-right parties and educational policy in contemporary European democracies.

You can get in touch with Philipp via Twitter or send an e-mail at: philipp.schnell@univie.ac.at.


Ethnic Educational Inequalities in Austria.
Equity Research between family background, educational system and language policies

This talk offers a systematic review of research in Austria on the relationship between race/ethnicity and educational inequality from 1980 until today. Five major research traditions are identified: (1) political arithmetic; (2) family background; (3) structures of educational systems; (4) intercultural education and discrimination and (5) multilinguality, with research on 'family background' and 'political arithmetic' being the most dominant research traditions. Most of the research conducted in Austria focuses on explaining 'underachievement' in relationship to 'children of immigrants' and 'Turkish' and '(former) Yugoslavia' minority students and is characterized either by the use of quantitative research methods and a more positivistic approach to social sciences or by discourse analyses and a critical constructivist approach from researchers in the 1980ies, 1990ies and 2000s from political science and sociology, nowadays also rooted in socio-linguistics and related fields. Equity in this field of research addresses as much socio-economic background as family language in the Austrian context. This rich body of research is written mainly in German and developed in a context characterized by a close collaborative relationship between sociologists, political scientists, sociolinguists, education researchers and the Ministry of Education but also international bodies such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the OECD. The common aim of these actors is the production of knowledge which should enable a shift in policy that emphasises assimilation and monolingualism over multiculturalism and multi- or plurilingualism. This does not preclude that at the same time other political actors in other Ministries follow different if not contradicting aims, the teaching force being split between those different aims and strategies.


USA, Prof. Gary Dworkin, University of Houston, ed. Palgrave Handbook   

Photo: University of Houston, Department of Sociology

Anthony Gary Dworkin is Professor Emeritus and former chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston.  He is the immediate Past-President of Research Committee (RC04) of the International Sociological Association. He served as a council member of the Sociology of Education Section of the American Sociological Association and was Past President of The Southwest Sociological Association.  He has published 14 books and numerous articles and chapters on teacher burnout, student dropout behavior, minority-majority relations in schools and elsewhere, gender roles, social movements, and public school accountability. His publications on The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 appeared in the American Sociological Association journal Sociology of Education, in a special issue of the ISA International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, and in books on the political dimensions of public school accountability. Along with his colleagues on the RC04 board he has published articles in Sociopedia on the current state of Sociology of Education.  With his departmental colleague, Jon Lorence, he wrote articles and a report to the Brookings Institution of Washington, D.C. on the effects of retention-in-grade on public school student achievement. He and Rosalind J. Dworkin published three editions of their race/ethnic relations book The Minority Report (3rd edition by Wadsworth, 1999).  Along with Lawrence J. Saha of the Australian National University, Dworkin co-edited The International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching (published by Springer in 2009). A new edition is in the planning.  He co-edited with Peter A. J. Stevens of Ghent University, Belgium, two editions of the Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequality in Education in 2014 and 2019.  The book serves as the basis of the Aurora Lecture Series for Summer 2022.

April 2022  

Germany, Prof. Ingrid Gogolin, University of Hamburg   

Ingrid Gogolin, Dr. phil., Dr. phil. h.c. mult.portraitbilder-gogolin
is Professor for international comparative and intercultural education research at Universität Hamburg in Germany. Her research is focused on migration and linguistic diversity in education. Research projects deal with topics as Linguistic diversity management in urban areas (Research Cluster of Excellence at the Universität Hamburg); Support of migrant children in schools; Multilingualism and Education (www.mehrsprachigkeit.uni-hamburg.de). Ingrid Gogolin was awarded honorary doctor’s degrees by the University of Dortmund/ Germany in 2013 and the National Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Greece in 2017. She was President of the European Educational Research Association (www.eera-ecer.de) from 1998 to 2002 and acted as a founding member of the World Education Research Association (WERA, https://www.weraonline.org/) in this role. From 2018 to July 2020, she was President of WERA and will continue as Immediate Past President until July 2022.

For more information see www.ingrid-gogolin.eu


England, Prof. Gill Crozier, University of Roehampton   

portraitbilder-gillGill Crozier is Emerita Professor of Sociology of Education, former Assistant Dean for Research and Director of the Centre for Educational Research in Equalities, Policy and Pedagogy in the School of Education, University of Roehampton, London, UK and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her academic work is underpinned by a deep concern for equalities and social justice and is informed by the analysis of ‘race’, class and gender and the ways these social locations and identities intersect and impact on life chances. As a sociologist of education she has researched and written extensively about ‘race’, class and gender particularly in relation to parents/families and school relationships, young people and their school education and experiences, access to and participation in higher education, pedagogy and education policy. She is committed to the utilization of academic research in relation to the development of educational practice and curriculum development, as well as education policy.

She is currently writing a book on racism and education: Racism and Education: Addressing Structural Oppression and the Dominance of Whiteness, to be published by Palgrave MacMillan. Her other books include:  Parents and Schools: Partners or Protagonists? (2000); Activating Participation: parents and teachers working towards partnership (2005) co-edited with Diane Reay ; Widening Participation Through Improving Learning (2009) co-authored with M. David (ed.) and contributors;  White Middle Class Identities and Urban Schooling (2011 and 2013 second revised edition) co-authored with  D. Reay and D. James; Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education   co-authored with Penny Jane Burke and Lauren Illa Misiaszek. 

Professor Gill Crozier, Professor Emerita, School of Education, University of Roehampton, London, UK

May 2022  

Italy, Dr. Davide Azzolini, FBK-IRVAPP (Research Institute for the evaluation of Public Policy)   

Davide Azzolini is a research fellow at the Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies of the Bruno Kessler Foundation (Italy) and an affiliated scholar at the Urban Institute (Washington DC, USA). He is committed to carrying out social research that produces better and more usable evidence to improve policy making mostly in the fields of student achievement, migrant education, financial aid and education technology. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; Research in Social Stratification and Mobility; Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies; and Demographic Research. He was a research collaborator at the Office of Population Research of the Princeton University and a visiting scholar at the Urban Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Trento (Italy) and a Master Degree in Public Policy Analysis from COREP, Turin (Italy).

You can get in touch with Davide via Twitter, Linkedin or write him an email at azzolini@fbk.eu


Czech Republic, Ass. Prof. Laura Fónadová, Masaryk University   

Laura Fonadova
Photo: Karolína Poláčková, Deník N, 2020

Laura Fónadová received her PhD in sociology at the Faculty of Social Studies, at Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). She currently works as an assistant professor at the Department of Public Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Administration at Masaryk University as well as a researcher at the Czech public research centre RILSA (Research Institute for Labor and Social Affairs). Her research interests focus on issues of ethnicity, ethnic inequality, and social mobility. Laura has worked on projects related to ethnic inequalities in the Czech educational system, previously also on the revenue structure of Czech non-profit institutions. Her current research is aimed at the Roma population in the Czech Republic. She participates in the project developing a methodology of quantitative data collection suitable for evaluating the situation of Roma in Czech society. She has published in European Sociological Review, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Czech Sociological Review, Slovak Sociological Review, and in several Czech monographs. She is an author of the monograph They Would Not have been Excluded: Upward Social Pathways of the Roma in Czech Society (in Czech, 2014). Contact email address: laura@econ.muni.cz.


After 1989, the Czech Republic underwent economic, political, and social transformations that led the country to gradual convergence with Western European societies. On the margins of mainstream sociological research, analyses of the impact of ethnicity on educational attainment gradually began to emerge. The results of these studies can be found not only in sociological papers and books but also in official reports and policy documents of various organizations including the Czech governmental authorities. This talk presents a review of this literature produced from 1990 to the very recent past.

The lecture has the following structure. First, I briefly describe the Czech educational system, the main ethnic minority groups, and migration patterns in the country. Then, the role of ethnicity in the Czech education system follows. Based on the existing evidence can be concluded that ethnicity is a fundamental social determinant of educational inequalities in the Czech Republic. The relationship between ethnicity and educational inequalities in Czech society is most markedly related to Roma children. The literature related to this topic in the Czech context can be divided into three traditions, which have developed in chronological order and are thematically linked. The main line of the lecture is defined by the subtitle “from ethnic discrimination to social inclusion”, which describes in short, the development of writing about ethnic disadvantages in the Czech educational system.

June 2022  

Sweden, Prof. Alireza Bhetoui, University of Stockholm   

portraitbilder-alirezaAlireza Behtoui is Professor of sociology at School of Science, Södertörn University, Sweden. His research broadly concerns consequences of inequality, focusing class reproduction, educational choice and ethnic inequality. Another linchpin of his research is the impact of not generally available resources (social capital) in social networks on the stratification process in the fields like education, transition from school to work and labour market, as well as contextual and organizational effects on inequality.


This talk offers a systematic review of research in Sweden on the relationship between class, race/ethnicity and educational inequality.

The presentation will be structured around four topics:

  • Structures of the Swedish educational systems, before 1990 and after.
  • Children of immigrants in Sweden
  • How can explain inequalities?

    1. The political arithmetic tradition
    2. Culturalism, discrimination and racism in schools
    3. School choice and school segregation
    4. Cultural and social capital and socio-historical contexts

  • Conclusions and discussion

Belgium/Flandern, Prof. Noel Clyqc, University Antwerp    

Noel Clycq

Noel Clycq is a research professor in education sciences at the Department of Training and Education Sciences at the University of Antwerp. Formerly, he held the chair in ‘European values: discourses and prospects’ at the Faculty of Arts and he was senior researcher at the Centre for Migration and Intercultural studies, both at the University of Antwerp.

His main research topics are diversity, identity, migration, inequality and belonging. He focuses on collective identity formation, citizenship education, community education, academic optimism in education, and the transition from school to work.


This talk focuses on the Flemish education in Belgium. Education is not a federal (national) competence in Belgium, but a regional one of, on the one hand, the Flemish Dutch speaking community and, on the other hand, the Walloon French speaking community. This separation of the Belgian education system in two (almost) fully autonomous regional systems, is already an important 'ethnic' categorization of 'education', even though it is seldom perceived as such.

This division of 'education' based on ethno-cultural and linguistic identity is important to start discussing the role of ethnicity in education. Taking this approach, this talk will further explore the difficulties the Flemish education system experiences in creating equality, given that the ethnic inequalities in performance in PISA are among the largest in Europe. We further discuss various difficulties and limitations, but will also engage with the opportunities education systems can build upon to tackle inequalities.

 30th Final examination.
Only with prior registration via vis online until June 23rd

Dates and Speakers ONLY for students 

March 2022
     Overview and introduction, Prof. Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger, UIBK
17th      Basic concepts, Prof. Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger, UIBK

May 2022
      Open discussion about and reflection on BEVI-survey (Beliefs, events and values inventory)

June 2022
     to be announced


Concept and organization

Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger (Professor of educational sciences) and
Lenz Luther (assistant to the course), Institute for Educational Sciences
E-mail: Lenz.Luther@student.uibk.ac.at

In cooperation with

AURORA Alliance (https://www.uibk.ac.at/international/aurora/)
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
E-mail: Aurora@uibk.ac.at

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